LOS ANGELES — Yasmani Grandal will make his first start of the World Series for the Dodgers after sitting for the last six games. Chris Taylor will make the start at second base as the Dodgers get their first look at a right-handed starter.
World Series Game 3 lineups
|1B||Moreland (L)||1B||Muncy (L)|
|2B||Holt (L)||CF||Bellinger (L)|
|CF||Bradley Jr (L)||C||Grandal (S)|
The Dodgers shied away from Grandal after Game 3 of the NLCS, with the 29-year-old struggling at the plate and with the glove. Manager Dave Roberts believes he will turn it around for several reasons.
“Well, I think that, No. 1, we’ve got a right-hander on the mound,” Roberts explained. “He’s had a lot of repetitions and has caught Walker quite a bit. And this is an aggressive base-running team, and more specific, they like to steal bases. So for us to have a guy that can kind of deter that a little bit, I think that’s a good thing.”
“And I just feel that the last three or four games for Yasmani to not start, to give him a little reset. I think he’s in a much better place mentally. And the way Porcello typically puts the right-hander on the ground, I like the left-handed bat, as well.”
The Dodgers are hoping Grandal can break out of his offensive funk, going 3-for-25 this postseason and 7-for-71 (.099) in 29 career playoff games.
Taylor starts at second base because he has been one of the more consistent Dodgers with the bat. Despite going 0-for-5 in the first two games of this series, Taylor if still 9-for-30 overall in the 2018 playoffs.
Manny Machado, who has knocked in three of the Dodgers six runs in the first two games, has hit well over his career against Rick Porcello. In 42 plate appearances, Machado is 13-for-38 (.342) with two homers.
“He has been very even-keeled,” Game 4 starter Rich Hill said about Machado. “Whether it’s an 0-for-4 or 4-for-4, or a couple of big home runs in a game, or a big home run in the game. Whatever it might be, a big hit in the game, a big play. He doesn’t ride the highs and lows.”
Highest Hard-Hit Rate This Postseason - Among Players in World Series— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) October 26, 2018
Manny Machado 34.6%
Mookie Betts 34.0%
Justin Turner 32.7%
Brian Dozier 0%
Yasmani Grandal 4%
Austin Barnes 5%
No other Dodger in the starting lineup has had many at-bats to speak of, not that it would matter much. The same can be said for the Red Sox and rookie Walker Buehler.
J.D. Martinez will indeed be in the starting lineup for the Red Sox after dealing with a sore ankle. The lumber jack of a hitter slipped coming around second base in Game 1 and has been getting treatment ever since.
The speculation prior to the series was that Mookie Betts would play second base for Boston, in order to get Martinez into right field. But Martinez will be in left with Andrew Benintendi taking a seat.
One factor Friday that could have an impact on Game 4 is the usage of Nathan Eovaldi out of the bullpen. Manager Alex Cora has been open about the fact that he would like to use Eovaldi — as he did in the first two games — if it means securing a 3-0 lead.
If that’s the case, Eovaldi won’t be making the start on Saturday.